Frederick Denison Maurice, 1805–1872


Biographical note

Divine, son of a Unitarian minister, was born at Normanston, near Lowestoft, and studied at Cambridge, but being then a Dissenter, could not graduate. He went to London, and engaged in literary work, writing for the Westminster Review and other periodicals, and for a short time edited the Athenæum. His theological views having changed, he joined the Church of England, went to Oxford, graduated, and was ordained 1834. He became Chaplain to Guy’s Hospital, and held other clerical positions in London. In 1840 he was appointed Prof. of English Literature and History at King’s College, and subsequently Prof. of Theology. He became a leader among the Christian socialists, and for a short time edited their paper.

On the publication of his Theological Essays in 1853 he was asked to resign his professorship at King’s College. In 1854 he was one of the founders of the Working Men’s College, of which he became Principal, and in 1866 he was made Prof. of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge. Among his writings are The Religions of the World and their Relation to Christianity, Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy, The Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament (1853), The Doctrine of Sacrifice, and Theological Essays. Maurice’s style was copious, and was often blamed as obscure; nevertheless, he exercised an extraordinary influence over some of the best minds of his time by the originality of his views, and the purity and elevation of his character.

[From A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin, 1910]


  • Eustace Conway, or the Brother and Sister, a novel (1834)
  • The Kingdom of Christ, or Hints to a Quaker, respecting the principles, constitution and ordinances of the Catholic Church (1838)
  • Christmas Day and Other Sermons (1843)
  • The Unity of the New Testament (1844)
  • The Epistle to the Hebrews (1846)
  • The Religions of the World and their relation to Christianity (1847)
  • Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy (at first an article in the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, 1848)
    1. Volume 1 Ancient Philosophy
    2. Volume 2 The Christian Fathers
    3. Volume 3 Mediaeval Philosophy
    4. Volume 4 Modern Philosophy
  • The Church a Family (1850)
  • The Old Testament: Nineteen Sermons on the First Lessons for the Sundays from Septuagesima (1851)
  • Theological Essays (1853)
  • The Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament: A series of sermons (1853)
  • Lectures on the Ecclesiastical History of the first and second centuries (1854)
  • The Doctrine of Sacrifice deduced from the Scriptures (1854)
  • The Patriarchs and Lawgivers of the Old Testament: a series of sermons (1855)
  • The Gospel of St John: a series of discourses (1857)
  • The Epistles of St John: a series of lectures on Christian ethics (1857)
  • The Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven: a course of lectures on the Gospel of St Luke (1864)
  • The Commandments Considered as Instruments of National Reformation (1866)
  • The Conscience: Lectures on Casuistry (1868)
  • The Lord's Prayer, a Manual (1870).
  • 'The Acts of the Apostles' (A series of Lectures that dominated his period at St Peter's, Vere St. Not published until 1894 (Posthumously). Macmillan & Co, London & New York.

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